A pair of wooden clogs in San Francisco; a bowl by Miranda Thomas from her workshop in Vermont; and a T-shirt from the Port Lockroy Museum in Antarctica. Shopping is an integral part of traveling, and those were three of the year’s most idiosyncratic and enjoyable purchases.
This bright and elegant boutique in downtown Chicago specializes in vintage serving ware from upscale hotels, cruise ships and restaurants. On my latest visit, I discovered midcentury coffee cups produced for officers of the Italian Air Force and vintage silver-plate items from The Athenaeum hotel in London and the Rainbow Room in New York.
613 N. State Street. Tel. (312) 280-1602
The short taxi ride from the center of Beaune to this colorful wine shop is well worth the effort, because you can taste before you buy (or just taste). For 40 euro per person, we sampled six Burgundy grands crus, including sumptuous wines from Corton-Charlemagne and Echezeaux.
Millésimes à la Carte
1 Rue du Moulin Noize. Tel. (33) 3-80-20-68-68
San Francisco, California
While discovering San Francisco on foot, you may want to head to the sophisticated Bryr studio in the gentrifying Dogpatch District to purchase a unique pair of clogs. Each pair of these chic wooden-soled shoes fashioned from soft American leather and traditional wooden bases from Europe are available for purchase on-site or made to order according to desired size, heel height, style and color.
2331 3rd Street. Tel. (415) 374-7323
A surprising high point of our trip to Antarctica was our visit to Port Lockroy, a former military base that has been restored and now operates as a museum that faithfully shows what life was like in the original outpost. None of us went to the Great White Continent to shop, but we found a rich opportunity in the gift boutique. UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, which administers the museum, has put together a wide selection of goods that includes books, maps, T-shirts, pins and patches. The shop also serves as a post office — an official branch of the Royal Mail — so a postcard home with the Port Lockroy postmark can serve as a good souvenir.
Goudier Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Tel. (44) 1223-355-049
During our delightful meander through Vermont, we had a chance to stop into the workshop-showroom of ShackletonThomas, an outfit that in many ways epitomizes the vibrant artisanal culture of the state. Charles Shackleton came to the United States from Ireland in 1981 (he is related to Sir Ernest Shackleton, the legendary Antarctic explorer) to pursue his passion for furniture making. His wife, Miranda Thomas, is a gifted potter, whose works, displayed on Shackleton pieces, include elegantly shaped bowls, platters, teapots and more with designs that reflect natural forms and colors.
102 Mill Road. Tel. (802) 672-5175
Hong Kong, China
As Hong Kong’s traditional heritage disappears under the rush to modernity, this charming shop remains one of the best places to find wonderful examples of Chinese folk craft. Nestled in the bustling Central district, it carries fabrics, woodcarvings, ceramics, jewelry and much more. I have been shopping here for many years and am relieved to see that it is still thriving.
12 Wo On Lane, Central. Tel. (852) 2523-2817